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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

I agree it will not be something happening soon. But that means the return on investment of raising the platform isn't likely to be realized any time soon. If on complete new builds of stations now they aren't putting in raised platforms, why would they later? I don't see how that expense ever becomes a priority until it becomes a limiting factor.

No question, there is an opportunity cost. And sometimes when public funding is involved, things have to get dire before the case for funding really sinks in. And costs rarely go down - the price will escalate over time.
But there are limits to dollars, and limits to how much work ML can undertake and manage at a given time.
Possibly when it happens (as I believe it will happen, in good time), people will say, gosh, sure wish they had done this sooner.... but I'm not sure this is mission critical for the next 3-5 years. In a perfect world it might be done sooner, but sometimes one must make tradeoffs.
What is encouraging is how thoroughly ML is doing the future proofing consistently in its station projects.

- Paul
- Paul
 
No, it isn't.

In many (or even most now) of the stations, rest of the facility needs little work to match the proposed new platform height. Moving a doorway that is already designed to be moved is not "new construction". Adding some more material to increase the height of the platform where there is already material is not "new construction".

So your argument is that the platform height standards set elsewhere only apply to new construction, so don't call it construction and then you can totally change platform heights?

What is done in Europe is irrelevant. We don't operate with their equipment or their rules.

The whole point of building the new LRT lines and Ontario Line trains using standard gauge o instead of TTC gauge was to be able to buy off the shelf products, backward compatibility with the existing system be damned. The bombardier bilevel is the only train with 610mm floor height.

Removing steps outside of the equipment is a great way to improve the passenger flow into and out of the equipment, and decrease boarding and alighting times. Why do you think that subways do it around the world? Yes, additional doorways will do even more,, but that can also be something that is done on a future equipment purchase - a longer-term goal.
I agree level platforms are part of a solution for faster boarding, but as with all things the weakest link is the determining factor on boarding and alighting times, and for the bi-levels it is people stuck in the stairway and crowded around limited doors that is the limiting factor right now, not a couple of steps.

The more common platform height standards that have been set are not unsurprisingly step increments of each other either. The average step height is 180mm. So steps are 180mm, 360mm, 540mm, 720mm, 900mm, 1080mm, and 1260mm which is closely aligned to the more common platform heights of 200mm (+20), 380mm (+20), 550mm (+10mm), 760mm (+40), 915mm (+15), 1100mm (+20), and 1250mm (-10). Why is this important? Because as you raise part of a platform or lower a part of a platform, doing it at step heights is easy (one more step on a flight of stairs, reduced railing requirements on one or two railing free steps, etc.) but something completely off will require slopes or ramps and is more likely to require more railings.

So, rushing to build 610mm platforms because some engineer at UTDC in Thunder Bay drew the floor at that height in the 1970s doesn't make sense to me. It doesn't make sense in is ability to solve the primary issues related to boarding and alighting times, it doesn't align to standards that could improve procurement options, it doesn't align to civil/architectural considerations like standard step height, and it completely tied to a rail car designed in the 1970s for rush hour commuter service. Why double down on a 1970s rush hour commuter for height? Please tell me the future is better than 1970s V2.0.
 
Appears to be new renderings for the Kitchener Line 4th Track/Bloor GO Station in this tweet.

Text:

We’re shifting to the #KitchenerLine for Day 4! Currently, we are adding a fourth track along the line in #Toronto—by #BloorGO Station, between Lansdowne Avenue and Dupont Street.

When complete, this transformative work will enable two-way, all-day service! 🎉

20231215_182043.jpg



20231215_182045.jpg



20231215_182047.jpg
 
The whole point of building the new LRT lines and Ontario Line trains using standard gauge o instead of TTC gauge was to be able to buy off the shelf products, backward compatibility with the existing system be damned. The bombardier bilevel is the only train with 610mm floor height.
Floor heights and track gauge are both trivial things in the big picture.

As previously stated, see all the European train model "platforms" that get customized for different customers. It is not a problem to drop the floor or raise it a few cm on a new build. 610 mm would not cripple our ability to buy new rolling stock in the future.
 
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I will ask the question again.

How much concrete will be added to the existing platforms for the level loading??

What impact will this extra concrete have on the existing snow melting system for the current platforms??

Will another snow melting system be needed to replace the existing one using the same manholes??

What I see is another 8 inches been added to keep with the standard for stairs and this will require a new snow melting system for the new platforms. Easy to raise the doors since the new and rebuilt stations have that extra thickens built into them now, but still time, labour and cost to do it than doing it during the rebuilt or being built new. There is a cost to raise everything that exist on the platforms today as well.

Then there is the requirement that only haft of the platform can be use while raising the other haft forcing riders to walk to X car to get off at their station, let alone getting on a train.
 
Floor heights and track gauge are both trivial things in the big picture.
For the sake of historical accuracy, the Toronto, Grey, and Bruce Railway used to run where the fourth track is being built. It opened as a narrow gauge railway, so the rendering can be an ode to that ;)
 
For the sake of historical accuracy, the Toronto, Grey, and Bruce Railway used to run where the fourth track is being built. It opened as a narrow gauge railway, so the rendering can be an ode to that ;)
Bring back the Toronto Suburban Railway! I want my interurban along the exact same route! :p Open air train rides and everything!

It's a share they sold most of the route off - would have made for a great biking trail between Guelph and Toronto. Although the hiking trails along the publicly accessible sections are lovely themselves.

Appears to be new renderings for the Kitchener Line 4th Track/Bloor GO Station in this tweet.

Text:



View attachment 527634


View attachment 527635


View attachment 527636
It's so great to see this station finally nearing competition after being truncated to meeting the 2015 Pan Am deadline.
 
So your argument is that the platform height standards set elsewhere only apply to new construction, so don't call it construction and then you can totally change platform heights?
No, my argument is that GO is not planning on building all-new stations to handle a minimal increase in the platform height. And again, many/most of those stations have already had the various protections put in so that the amount of work required is relatively minimal - that is, doors have been designed to be moved, posts & columns are fine exactly where they are, stairs and ramps will need to be lengthened, more material will need to be added to the tops of the platforms, etc.

This is not all net-new construction. New structures are not needed to handle this. They won't be closing and relocating stations in order to facilitate the change in platform height, as has been done elsewhere.

The whole point of building the new LRT lines and Ontario Line trains using standard gauge o instead of TTC gauge was to be able to buy off the shelf products, backward compatibility with the existing system be damned. The bombardier bilevel is the only train with 610mm floor height.
And how much shared trackage on those LRT lines is there with the GO network?

When a new line is built that is independent of all of the other systems and lines, they can write the specs. (See: Ontario Line) When something is an addition to an existing network/system, you can't just make up rules on the fly and hope to use them. That's what it sounds like you would like GO to do, and that's not an option. Interoperability is a thing.

I agree level platforms are part of a solution for faster boarding, but as with all things the weakest link is the determining factor on boarding and alighting times, and for the bi-levels it is people stuck in the stairway and crowded around limited doors that is the limiting factor right now, not a couple of steps.
The research into these kinds of things don't agree with your conclusion.

But again, as an ultimate goal, yes - I think that we can all agree that whatever form the new equipment will take will need more sets of doors per length of train.

There is still a lot of improvement that can happen before then, however. And level boarding with the current equipment - should they get it done in time - will go a long way towards meeting that goal of minimizing dwell times.

The more common platform height standards that have been set are not unsurprisingly step increments of each other either. The average step height is 180mm. So steps are 180mm, 360mm, 540mm, 720mm, 900mm, 1080mm, and 1260mm which is closely aligned to the more common platform heights of 200mm (+20), 380mm (+20), 550mm (+10mm), 760mm (+40), 915mm (+15), 1100mm (+20), and 1250mm (-10). Why is this important? Because as you raise part of a platform or lower a part of a platform, doing it at step heights is easy (one more step on a flight of stairs, reduced railing requirements on one or two railing free steps, etc.) but something completely off will require slopes or ramps and is more likely to require more railings.
They have these things called ramps. You may want to look into them. They're quite neat.

So, rushing to build 610mm platforms because some engineer at UTDC in Thunder Bay drew the floor at that height in the 1970s doesn't make sense to me. It doesn't make sense in is ability to solve the primary issues related to boarding and alighting times, it doesn't align to standards that could improve procurement options, it doesn't align to civil/architectural considerations like standard step height, and it completely tied to a rail car designed in the 1970s for rush hour commuter service. Why double down on a 1970s rush hour commuter for height? Please tell me the future is better than 1970s V2.0.
Perhaps it isn't clear to you, but this isn't rushing. There is a reason why the accessible ramps have all been built to that height. There is a reason why Salt Lake City built their platforms on their whole, new system at that height.

This has been in the plans for decades. And while it may be arguable that they should have gotten off their duff a long time ago to execute that plan, it's pretty obvious now that they have a pretty methodical approach to it, even if it is slow.

Dan
 
Except service is going to be much more than this on both lines, more comparable to a subway especially when you combine their headways on the Kingston sub
We don't have a reason to believe that service will be even better than 15 min. We need tons of commuters in the first place to need that kind of frequencies. We are assuming that with better frequencies, there will be tons of latent demand that will magically appear. Lakeshore lines already run at 30 min frequencies and had 15 min trains as well in the past during the rush hour. You are not going to get many more people by having trains at every 5 minutes. Having more trains will only distribute passengers between the trains rather than getting tons of new passengers.

What can bring more passengers is competitive speeds and fares and I have shown that a few times on this board that GO trains are slower than 401 in rush hours and they don't provide door to door coverage. Also, driving is a lot cheaper than GO. Those factors are what will limit GO's ridership.
 
We don't have a reason to believe that service will be even better than 15 min. We need tons of commuters in the first place to need that kind of frequencies. We are assuming that with better frequencies, there will be tons of latent demand that will magically appear. Lakeshore lines already run at 30 min frequencies and had 15 min trains as well in the past during the rush hour. You are not going to get many more people by having trains at every 5 minutes. Having more trains will only distribute passengers between the trains rather than getting tons of new passengers.

What can bring more passengers is competitive speeds and fares and I have shown that a few times on this board that GO trains are slower than 401 in rush hours and they don't provide door to door coverage. Also, driving is a lot cheaper than GO. Those factors are what will limit GO's ridership.
GO already operates the Lakeshore lines at frequencies around every 7 to 9 minutes during rush hour....
 
The whole point of building the new LRT lines and Ontario Line trains using standard gauge o instead of TTC gauge was to be able to buy off the shelf products, backward compatibility with the existing system be damned. The bombardier bilevel is the only train with 610mm floor height.
This is not true. 610mm is the standard floor height for low-floor systems in Canada and the United States. For example it is also used by the Stadler FLIRT DMUs and Hyundai-Rotem bilevel coaches
1024px-TEXRail_DFW_Airport_Terminal_B_Nov_2019_2.jpg


From Metrolink's Fleet management report
Capture.PNG

25" = 635 mm
24
" = 610 mm
RPRP = Metrolink Arrow line

Systems in the United States with roughly 610mm level boarding include:
BART eBART (Stadler GTW)
DART Silver Line (Stadler Flirt)
Denton County A-train (Stadler GTW)
NCTD Sprinter (Siemens Desiro)
Metrolink Arrow (Stadler Flirt)
NJT River Line (Stadler GTW)
Texrail (Stadler Flirt)
UTA Frontrunner (Bombardier Bilevel)

I agree level platforms are part of a solution for faster boarding, but as with all things the weakest link is the determining factor on boarding and alighting times, and for the bi-levels it is people stuck in the stairway and crowded around limited doors that is the limiting factor right now, not a couple of steps.

The more common platform height standards that have been set are not unsurprisingly step increments of each other either. The average step height is 180mm. So steps are 180mm, 360mm, 540mm, 720mm, 900mm, 1080mm, and 1260mm which is closely aligned to the more common platform heights of 200mm (+20), 380mm (+20), 550mm (+10mm), 760mm (+40), 915mm (+15), 1100mm (+20), and 1250mm (-10). Why is this important? Because as you raise part of a platform or lower a part of a platform, doing it at step heights is easy (one more step on a flight of stairs, reduced railing requirements on one or two railing free steps, etc.) but something completely off will require slopes or ramps and is more likely to require more railings.

So, rushing to build 610mm platforms because some engineer at UTDC in Thunder Bay drew the floor at that height in the 1970s doesn't make sense to me. It doesn't make sense in is ability to solve the primary issues related to boarding and alighting times, it doesn't align to standards that could improve procurement options, it doesn't align to civil/architectural considerations like standard step height, and it completely tied to a rail car designed in the 1970s for rush hour commuter service. Why double down on a 1970s rush hour commuter for height? Please tell me the future is better than 1970s V2.0.
There are two platform height standards in North America for level boarding: 610 mm (24") for low-floor level boarding and 1220 mm (48") for high-floor level boarding. It makes sense for GO to pick one of those two standards, since those will be the floor heights of rail equipment that can be purchased off-the-shelf to run on their network.

Sure, those standards are not common outside of North America, but if we purchase European rolling stock it will require more substantial modification anyway, so needing to add 6 cm to the ride height of a 550mm train is hardly a dealbreaker.
 
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We don't have a reason to believe that service will be even better than 15 min. We need tons of commuters in the first place to need that kind of frequencies. We are assuming that with better frequencies, there will be tons of latent demand that will magically appear. Lakeshore lines already run at 30 min frequencies and had 15 min trains as well in the past during the rush hour. You are not going to get many more people by having trains at every 5 minutes. Having more trains will only distribute passengers between the trains rather than getting tons of new passengers.

What can bring more passengers is competitive speeds and fares and I have shown that a few times on this board that GO trains are slower than 401 in rush hours and they don't provide door to door coverage. Also, driving is a lot cheaper than GO. Those factors are what will limit GO's ridership.
With GO expansion, they can also run shorter trains. Electrification and increased acceleration will make trip times much faster and competitive with cars.

There's going to be a massive increase in train trips, more than 10,000 per week. Currently, there's 2,400 weekly train trips.

You're smoking if you don't think ridership will substantially increase.
 
We don't have a reason to believe that service will be even better than 15 min. We need tons of commuters in the first place to need that kind of frequencies. We are assuming that with better frequencies, there will be tons of latent demand that will magically appear. Lakeshore lines already run at 30 min frequencies and had 15 min trains as well in the past during the rush hour. You are not going to get many more people by having trains at every 5 minutes. Having more trains will only distribute passengers between the trains rather than getting tons of new passengers.
I think that with more stations in the city and frequent service, there is a huge latent demand in the core areas. Similar to the TTC subway, it achieves this potential when other transit routes (bus, streetcar, subway) make good connections with these services.
  • Oakville - Pickering: Oakville Centre*, Clarkson, Port Credit*, Long Branch, Mimico, Park Lawn, Exhibition*, Union, East Harbour*, Gerrard*, Main, Birch Cliff, Cliffside, Scarborough Village, Guildwood, Rouge Hill, and Pickering Centre*.
  • Airport - Markham: Pearson Centre*, Grandstand*, Weston, Mount Dennis*, Stockyards, West Bend*, Liberty Village, Union*, East Harbour*, Main, Cliffside, Kennedy Centre*, Agincourt, L'Amoreaux, Milliken, Unionville*.
  • Rutherford - Union: Rutherford, Concord*, Downsview Park*, Glen Long, Caledonia*, Earlscourt, Lansdowne*, Fashion, Union*.
*Key Transit Connections, New Stations.
 
We don't have a reason to believe that service will be even better than 15 min. We need tons of commuters in the first place to need that kind of frequencies. We are assuming that with better frequencies, there will be tons of latent demand that will magically appear. Lakeshore lines already run at 30 min frequencies and had 15 min trains as well in the past during the rush hour.
The Lakeshore lines have better than 15-minute service right now during rush hours, and had 15-minute or better service all day in Fall 2021. Unfortunately that service level didn't last very long.

Lakeshore West, October 2021, From my GO Schedule Archive:
Capture.PNG
 
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The Lakeshore lines have better than 15-minute service right now during rush hours, and had 15-minute or better service all day in Fall 2021. Unfortunately that service level didn't last very long.

Lakeshore West, October 2021, From my GO Schedule Archive:
View attachment 528016
You can only see this type of service if ML/GO has the crews to do it as well crews for other lines which they don't. Then there is the funding issues to do it.

It can only operate where ML fully owns the corridor and tracks.

There is work factor both on the stations and track work that will slow the work down on them as the workers and equipment have to be clear of the on coming trains.

At the same time, running 8-12 cars trains in place of 4-8 cars is expensive due to wear and tear on the rolling stock as well the system considering the ridership is not there in the first place for off peak service. Breaking train up or down is costly unless those shorter trains will be operating durn peak period.

New stations within the Toronto area do not have to be full size station like it is today as well having parking period if good transit is servicing them in the first place.
 

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